In My Opinion: Cuba should be your next foreign visit

Previous United States policies’ that restricted American travel to Cuba have contributed to the isolation of Cubans from their families in the states. The U.S. government has made great strides recently to correct this wrong. Americans should serve as ambassadors of U.S. values and culture.

We can dispel 50 years of Cuban government propaganda aimed at vilifying the United States and its values, when we travel to Cuba. Therefore, all U.S. citizens should be allowed to travel, not just Cuban-Americans.

Americans should be allowed to travel to Cuba as it as fundamental right. It is ironic that Cubans are now free to travel where they please, while U.S. citizens are still restricted. Americans should be able to travel wherever they want. Our government shouldn’t be able to tell us we can’t travel to Cuba because of their goals in international politics.

Americans have the potential to help Cubans, like we did during after the Spanish-American War in 1898, with their pro-democracy movement. The United States is known for trying to prevent communism governments for developing like we did in Western Europe.

Also, American travel would benefit both economies, especially Cuba’s. With more money coming into Cuba’s economy, the government could provide better lives for its people, and there might even be a shift towards a free society where consumers have the control over the economy, especially with a stronger American influence. 

Surely, America’s past strategy has not succeeded in making Cuba move towards a democratic form of government. Our government’s steps towards normalizing relations shows the U.S. government is ready to take a new approach with Cuba. It is a very necessary step that will finally end the freeze on both countries’ ties to each other. 

According to a fact sheet from the Department of State, President Obama announced the decision to restore diplomatic relations with Cuba on July 1, and this went into effect on July 20, when the embassies in each country reopened. 

The U.S. has already started bringing back some of the necessary services for Americans consider with their safety in Cuba. Soon American credit cards and phones will work in Cuba which adds another layer of security and comfort for travelers.

As a vital part of their economy, the government is willing to invest in hotels and popular tourists destinations to attract tourists. Meanwhile, vacationing in Cuba remains relatively cheap to stay competitive.

Tourism to Cuba will only grow in the upcoming years as travel companies and cruise lines invest more in tours there. It is going to change their economy by leading to more infrastructure which will improve their economy and standard of living. The next few years will be the perfect time for Americans to travel to Cuba.

Now is time for Americans to see for themselves what Cuba is like and leave their influence on the country much like volunteers in Haiti or Nepal have. U.S./Cuban economic, political, and cultural ties will become stronger in the future.

The Louis Armstrong International Airports was one of eight airports first authorized for flights there. Should New Orleans’ ports open back up trade with Cuba, they would get a lot more business. There will be a profound impact in the New Orleans community with normalization of U.S./Cuban relations as the presence of Cuban culture in New Orleans grows through cultural exchange. 

I encourage Loyola students to study or volunteer as Cuba and universities across the US create the necessary services for Americans. It will improve your cultural awareness and make Cuba’s government reassess its priorities.